After doing the Hypnobirthing Australia course with Natalie Andrew of Prepared to Birth in early January, we wanted to share our birth story with you as a way of saying thank you for all of the information and knowledge that we received as part of the course.
Henry was born at 6:53am on the 21st of February 2021, two days before his estimated due date. On Saturday the 20th, my husband Greg and I had a beautiful morning together going for a walk by the beach, followed by pancakes. By lunchtime I started experiencing irregular and light surges, I didn’t want to get Greg’s hopes up but in the back of my mind I had a feeling this might be it. By 4pm my contractions had become more regular and we knew it was time. Greg was incredible and went about setting up our labour space as we had insivinged with lowlights, candles and our calm birth playlist playing in the background. Moving between my birth ball on my knees and swaying whilst standing, Greg reassured me through light touch and positive affirmations that I could do this and this was what my body was made to do. Every contraction I focused on bringing my baby down, letting go of my pelvic floor and counting my breaths through each contraction.
As the hours rolled by the contractions were undoubtedly increasing in intensity so I moved to the shower, determined to spend as long as I could at home before heading to the hospital. By 11pm I began to feel uneasy about being at home and told Greg I thought it was time to go in. Once at the hospital I was examined and told that I was 3cm and not considered in active labour. Deflated by my progress I was given the option of going home or staying in the delivery suite and accepting some pain relief. Knowing my birth preferences Greg gently reminded me that I would be more comfortable and more likely to progress in our own space so after taking a panadol we opted to head back home.
The next 4 hours were a blur, my contractions were becoming more intense and longer but still remaining 3-4 or even 5 minutes apart. At times I struggled to control my emotions, doubting my choices and telling Greg I didn’t think I was strong enough to do it. Greg continued to be my rock, counting me through the surges, placing cold towels with lavender oil over my body, reciting positive affirmations and holding me through each contraction.
At 4:30am I once again told Greg I didn’t think I could stay at home any longer after beginning to experience immense pressure in the base of my pelvis. Feeling defeated we went back to the hospital, where I was examined once again and was told that I had managed to progress to 7cm and could now use the bath if I wanted. In the bath my body relaxed and I was able to regain control of thoughts and shifted back into my positive mindset. Aware of my birth preferences the midwives were completely hands off and let me and Greg do our thing only listening to our baby’s heartbeat intermittently whilst I remained in the bath and allowed Greg to set up our birth space as we wished with calming music and lowlighting.
By 6:15am I began experiencing the feeling to bear down, a sensation like nothing I had ever felt before. Not wanting to leave the bath, I became louder with each contraction and was certain that everyone in the hospital would hear me! Greg changed the music from our calming music to a more upbeat playlist that I had created with all of my favourite songs to motivate me during the bearing down phase. After 30 mins of bearing down I began to tire and found it hard to fight the negative thoughts, Greg and the midwives continued to motivate me, telling me it was time to meet our baby and I needed to give it everything I had. The next song in our playlist started playing in the background, it was the song I walked down the aisle to on our wedding day and it was all the motivation I needed to bear down and meet our baby. As the midwives passed him through my legs in the water and up onto my chest I was in complete shock and disbelief that we had done it.
Although we had opted to keep the gender a surprise – I had a very strong feeling from early in my pregnancy that we were having a boy, the midwives briefly picked our baby up off my chest allowing me to see him properly for the first time and I told Greg that we had a son. We are in awe of our little man who also happens to share a birthday with his dad and are so grateful for our incredible birth experience.
Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and experiences of hypnobirthing. You helped give us the tools we needed to achieve the birth we dreamed of!
Please find a few photos of our experience attached.
Dual Commonwealth Games Medalist